Taking on an Activ Web Design franchise has enabled a husband and wife team to realise a long-held ambition of working together in their own IT-based business.
Cecilia and John Holden, who have between them more than 45 years’ experience in IT, acquired their franchise in July 2008 and now operate seven post code areas across Bedfordshire.
And for Cecilia, who used to work for a large international investment bank in the City, the decision has improved her life beyond all recognition. She said: “My job used to entail a three and a half hour commute as well as travelling backwards and forwards to New York every few weeks. This may sound glamorous but the novelty soon wears off and despite being well paid in my old job, I am a million times happier since I decided to give it up and take on the Activ franchise with John.”
Cecilia added: “I am among the core founders of a new BNI chapter in our region and have found networking an excellent way to promote Activ’s services and capabilities.
“The decision to buy the franchise has been a great move for John too, who had been running his own golf ball business but had been looking for an alternative to that.” And, like other Activ franchisees across the country Cecilia values highly the help and technical support offered by the Activ team.”
She added: “Although we are essentially running our own businesses, when an issue arises such as a server problem, we really appreciate being able to contact Activ.”
In the course of her work as an Activ web designer Cecilia has helped a diverse range of businesses not only to gain an online presence but to update their existing web pages and address problems with their sites.
She added: “One customer, who had moved premises and wanted to update his contact details, couldn’t track down the people who had originally built it in 2000 and was being asked for £50 just to change his address.
“We managed to resolve his IT issues efficiently and cost-effectively as well as providing him with a better site.”
As someone who has worked in big business where huge budgets are often the norm, Cecilia relishes working with small concerns that are operating within much tighter cost controls.
She added: “In the past I’ve been used to working with organisation with annual budgets of £13 million but am now dealing with companies whose budgets are measured in units of £500.
“It’s fascinating to see how businesses can make £500 work for them and to play our part in helping smaller companies to achieve higher sales, profit and inquiry levels a result of us building them a good website.”